October 09, 2015 - 12:13 PM
PENTICTON - The City of Penticton will be able to move forward with a planned labour market study thanks to a provincial funding announcement made today.
MLA Dan Ashton and several city dignitaries were on hand, Oct. 9, to announce $71,300 in community and employer partnership funding from the Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation.
The city has been looking for strategies to attract new employees to the area. In September, economic development officer Colleen Pennington issued two requests for proposals to conduct labour market research and to hire a consultant to head a labour market project. A priority for the city is to attract families by creating a labour market that will allow “trailing spouses” the opportunity to find work when relocated to the valley because their partner has found work.
Pennington says the city is seeking to “validate key market issues” thought to be impeding job growth in the community and the region. While the province engages in labour market partnership programs in other localities throughout the province, Penticton’s “trailing spouse issue” is a unique issue being studied locally, she says.
“We want to find out what’s standing in the way of hiring and growing? We want to make sure we’re not guessing,” she says.
The study has already begun, with a research firm hired earlier this month.
Pennnington says the study will consist of three phases - a survey, followed by two in-depth focus groups with small business owners and a number of in-depth interviews with some of the area’s larger employers. The result will be a three year strategy along with an action plan to help support local industries.
Penticton Mayor Andrew Jakubeit says Pennington played a key role in convincing the province to provide the bulk of funds necessary for the study, which is estimated to cost $100,000. The city will provide the balance needed through in-kind work from City of Penticton staff time.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015